Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

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elsid
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Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by elsid » 13 Apr 2020, 23:00

The idea is to have some reasonable default graphics setup that can show why it's better to play OpenMW rather than Vanilla engine. Target users here are once who don't what to read tons of documentation, search forums, ask questions. Some people ask quesions like here viewtopic.php?t=4547 but in general we should aim to avoid such situations. I don't have statistics but for one person who ask when confused there are some who don't ask and give up.

The reason for this topic are these two screenshots:

Vanilla engine with default settings:
Image

OpenMW with default settings:
Image

The only noticable difference is a widescreen support and maximum resolution. Probably we're not ready yet for automatic benchmark to determine optimal graphic settings like proposed here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=640#p4500. But we could enable water shaders, distant fog and terrain, radial fog to make first impression to a new player. Of course the first impression can become "why is it so slow?" but still there is something in between that works for most of the players.

Vanilla:
Image

OpenMW:
Image

silentthief
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by silentthief » 13 Apr 2020, 23:25

I think that this is a good idea - to show the difference in how openMW and vanilla Morrowind look side by side. I think it would be good to show off the graphics improvements that we have already, as well as do a little hype/cheerleading for openMW.

I don't know if anyone is currently working on PR for openMW but (IMHO) we should have regular posts and/or some kind of press release showcasing this.

ST the cheerleader
"You like to dance close to the fire, don't you?."

Time4Tea
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by Time4Tea » 14 Apr 2020, 23:32

I agree, definitely. One of the first questions I had when I tried openmw 2-3 months ago was: "Why can't I see further than with the vanilla engine?".

ECLD of 2 and a suitable viewing distance, with object shadows would make a good impression and probably be very playable for most people who have a half-decent dedicated GPU.

And/or, add the ECLD, view distance stuff, etc. into the graphics settings in the launcher (with appropriate performance warnings), so that, if it's not the default, at least people can see the options are there and they're not buried in some obscure settings file.

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akortunov
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by akortunov » 15 Apr 2020, 05:53

Time4Tea wrote:
14 Apr 2020, 23:32
And/or, add the ECLD, view distance stuff, etc. into the graphics settings in the launcher
1. Viewing distance can be configured via in-game menu.
2. ECLD is for debugging purposes, not for gameplay, and can be dropped eventually since people tend to abuse it.

Time4Tea
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by Time4Tea » 15 Apr 2020, 13:35

akortunov wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 05:53
Time4Tea wrote:
14 Apr 2020, 23:32
And/or, add the ECLD, view distance stuff, etc. into the graphics settings in the launcher
1. Viewing distance can be configured via in-game menu.
2. ECLD is for debugging purposes, not for gameplay, and can be dropped eventually since people tend to abuse it.
1. Yes, that is true. Fair point. Although, distant terrain isn't present in-game or in the launcher.
2. In my experience, ECLD>1 works great and the increased object view distance significantly enhances the player experience. It might not be the 'perfect world' solution to distant statics, but if it works, why not advertise it more as a feature to players (as long as their hardware can handle it)?

One other default setting that really needs to be looked at though, imo, is 'stretch menu background'. I believe this is set to 'false' by default, which means the very first thing a new player sees on loading up the game is that the main menu doesn't fit the whole screen properly. It was something I noticed right away when I first tried it, and it looked wrong. That is another setting that appears to only be accesible in the config file. Seriously, there is only one chance to make a first impression.

Chris
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by Chris » 15 Apr 2020, 19:18

Time4Tea wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 13:35
2. In my experience, ECLD>1 works great and the increased object view distance significantly enhances the player experience. It might not be the 'perfect world' solution to distant statics, but if it works, why not advertise it more as a feature to players (as long as their hardware can handle it)?
Because then we'll get people complaining how badly OpenMW performs because the increased cell load distance putting more strain on the CPU, GPU, and memory. As it is, we've had people complain that 'vanilla Morrowind worked fine on ancient hardware, why does OpenMW perform worse on my less-ancient hardware?" Trying to determine what settings a given system can handle based on detected hardware has always been problematic too (I've never seen a game give proper auto-detected settings, its always either extra-conservative or over-optimistic).

I'd also consider it bad form to show off a setting that's going to be removed, or at least discouraged to use when proper support for distant statics is added. People reasonably don't like to see features removed (even if a similar-but-not-exactly-the-same feature is given in its place), and if a debug tool is touted as a feature and subsequently removed when no longer needed, it would cause unnecessary headaches.

Time4Tea
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by Time4Tea » 15 Apr 2020, 23:18

Chris wrote:
15 Apr 2020, 19:18
Because then we'll get people complaining how badly OpenMW performs because the increased cell load distance putting more strain on the CPU, GPU, and memory. As it is, we've had people complain that 'vanilla Morrowind worked fine on ancient hardware, why does OpenMW perform worse on my less-ancient hardware?" Trying to determine what settings a given system can handle based on detected hardware has always been problematic too (I've never seen a game give proper auto-detected settings, its always either extra-conservative or over-optimistic).

I'd also consider it bad form to show off a setting that's going to be removed, or at least discouraged to use when proper support for distant statics is added. People reasonably don't like to see features removed (even if a similar-but-not-exactly-the-same feature is given in its place), and if a debug tool is touted as a feature and subsequently removed when no longer needed, it would cause unnecessary headaches.
I think it's greatly under-selling it, to refer to it as a 'debug tool'. It works perfectly well during gameplay and greatly enhances the experience (at admittedly some performance cost). If not enabled by default, imo it ought to at least be on the launcher, so players are aware of it and can try it out for themselves, to see if it works for them.

Regarding performance, what about adding a tab to the launcher that has a menu of pre-built configuration profiles, for different hardware? Could have one for mobile; one for laptop; one for desktop (conservative); another for desktop (extreme) (where you could maybe enable ECLD>1 by default). It would allow new players to quickly jump in with settings that are more-or-less approproate for their hardware.

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AnyOldName3
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by AnyOldName3 » 16 Apr 2020, 01:41

Profiles are hard because different people prefer different things. It's not like we've got the art directors (or one guy who made decisions sometimes) from 90s Bethesda saying that particular combinations go better with the intended vision for the game while achieving a certain framerate on a certain tier of hardware.

We know there are things that a big ECLD breaks and will always break. We're not going to advertise settings that break things.
AnyOldName3, Master of Shadows

Time4Tea
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by Time4Tea » 16 Apr 2020, 12:50

AnyOldName3 wrote:
16 Apr 2020, 01:41
We know there are things that a big ECLD breaks and will always break. We're not going to advertise settings that break things.
Such as? Tbh, I have to say I'm still skeptical about this. I've played through most of the original game now and large parts of Tamriel Rebuilt with it set to 4 and haven't yet found anything that it breaks. Although, I admit I haven't yet completed the main quest and maybe it breaks some things right near the end ...

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lysol
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Re: Default graphic settings to show improvement over vanilla engine

Post by lysol » 16 Apr 2020, 19:12

It doesn't matter really. ECLD higher than 1 or 2 tanks the fps for 99 % of all users so it is plain dumb to suggest a high number as a default setting or even as a toggable setting in the launcher. It works well for you? Neat. But it won't for most people, so let's wait for decent distant statics and batching support instead. Otherwise we'll get even more threads in support asking why they get slideshow performance.
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